England were far from convincing as they beat Scotland 26-12 at Twickenham.
After thrashing France last week England were expected to see of Scotland without much fuss, but Martin Johnson’s men were ultimately frustrated by some gutsy Scottish defence.
Scotland started the game brightly and were on the scoreboard first through a Chris Paterson penalty and looked destined to score the first try of the game just moments later had it not been for a spectacular last-ditch tackle by Ugo Monye on Thom Evans.
The first half, though, belonged to England as they dominated both territory and possession. Having been frustrated by some outstanding defensive work by the Scots, the hosts finally scored two tries through Monye and centre Riki Flutey to go into the break with a 15-3 lead.
The second half was a more even affair as Scotland slowly started to get themselves back in the game. After Toby Flood and Paterson traded shots at goal, flyhalf Phil Godman cut England’s lead by three points with a long-range penalty.
The Scots had their chances, particularly on the counterattack and had they been able to take advantage of them, the result could have been very different. Paterson added his third penalty with less then 15 minutes left in the game as Scotland began to believe.
But England again assumed control following the restart and having taken the ball through 12 phases, replacement scrumhalf Danny Care popped over a drop goal with eight minutes left to put the result beyond doubt with the Scots running on fumes having made a total of 156 tackles.
Mathew Tait grabbed a late try for the hosts with time almost up, but in the end the scoreline flattered an England side who were nowhere near their best.
By Andrew Worling